Posts tagged "recycle week"

It’s Recycle Week 2011!

It’s Recycle Week in the UK and it’s a great time to revisit ways to help the environment and put a bit less strain on it by reducing, reusing and recycling. I wanted to share with you some of the things that I’ve been doing and plan to do this week, and some tips and ideas to help you cut down on waste.

I’ve been recycling batteries at my local Tesco; there are so many more places where you can do this now and it’s only a five minute walk for me to drop them off! The other thing I could do is cut down on the amount of batteries I use in the first place, I am thinking about buying a battery recharger and rechargeable batteries to reduce my impact on the environment.

I’m going to make a final decision about whether to get a wormery or a composter this week and buy one. My local council subsidises both so it’s really a question of whether I can face up to wriggly worms or whether it’s better to have a composter, even though my garden is very small. The council used to pick up my food waste from my previous address, but sadly does not provide this service where I live now.

I am going to recycle some clothes (too knackered for the charity shop) and a broken electric kettle. RecycleNow has a great list of retailers who will recycle old small electrical appliances but none of them are near me so I will be making a trip to my local recycling centre.

I recently recycled two mobile phones and was paid £45 for them – it’s so worthwhile. Mobile phones that go into landfill are toxic and are also a waste of the expensive hi-tech components that are used to make them. Recycle yours, donate them to charity or get money for them – it’s a really good idea! There are plenty of sites out there which will help you get your old mobile phones recycled, try this tool from Money Saving Expert to compare them.

I’m also using a Kindle to read books. This is great for the book club I attend as I don’t have to run around book stores looking for books at the last minute, I’m finding it hard to kick my newspaper habit though, even if I can read a newspaper online it doesn’t feel quite the same. If I do buy a paper, I recycle it (of course!) but cutting down on my newspaper and magazine purchasing is going to be hard. I’m also going to donate some books to a local charity to clear some space.

There is lots more information about how you can help the environment during Recycle Week at their website Recycle Now. You can also use the widget below to find out more tips about recycling in your area!

Find out what you can recycle at Recyclenow

Recycling Week: a follow-up post about batteries and electrical waste

As promised, a quick update on battery recycling. I used a handy battery recycling finder tool I found on the web, plugged in my postcode for battery recycling and there it was, Robert Dyas in Canary Wharf. Full of scepticism, with a heavy bag of 20 odd batteries, I set off: and there was a little box outside the shop, waiting for batteries to be recycled! I put them in and the job was done. There was even a Brita Water filter recycling box, as well. I was impressed that Robert Dyas are doing this (they also sell biodegradable picnicware, boys and girls, handy for the summer months and remarkably cheap) and can’t understand why more shops don’t. Yes, it’s extra admin and cost, but it can’t be much, and think of the goodwill they gain!

I’ve also tracked down about 5 more printer cartridges (I clearly had a large collection, this recycling business doesn’t half build up clutter) and sent them off to Comic Relief. With any luck, they’ll make another £2.50 for charity. I could also have swapped them for Nectar Points at Sainsbury’s, which is an option worth considering if you’re a coupon/points hunter.

While I’m being nerdy about recycling, I should point out I was in Muji today (another store that makes an effort to recycle, minimise packaging and use recycled resources) and noticed they will take your waste electrical items from you when you buy a new one as part of honouring the WEEE directives. Here’s what their website says: “Muji are offering free in store take back so you are able to take your items to our stores. You need not have purchased the equipment from one of our stores. If you are purchasing a product from our stores just bring your equivalent waste product with you when you come to purchase a new one….The products are sent to our recycling centre for processing”. I think this is an impressive policy and I hope many other stores will take it up and what is more, actively promote it.

And another general point on recycling: not everyone knows you can recycle clothes, ie the ones that are too tired/damaged to go to a charity shop. I recycled a whole bag (mainly children’s clothes) the other day and was thrilled to find the recycle point only a few minutes walk down the road. I also discovered my local Sainsbury’s will recycle CD’s and books, which is good news. All this does take some effort and research, but it is very rewarding when you manage to find a way to reuse something, instead of just dumping it in landfill. All in all, I enjoyed carrying out my Recycle Week pledge, have definitely got rid of some clutter and even raised money for charity ( if the Nokia is worth £30, I will have raised £40.50 by my calculation – not bad!). It’s been a useful exercise, and for someone who was (I thought) quite knowledgeable about recycling, I’ve learned some new things.

Days 4 and 5 of Recycle Week

So, I managed to post my old iPod (it was a 2003 model) on Freecycle and it was taken by Sam, who is pretty sure he can fix it and is going to email me if he manages to do it. I have also contacted one of the PC recycling companies on the list, but have not heard back from them yet, so have still to complete the task of finding a new home for my broken G3 Powerbook. However, the net result is that I have safely disposed of about 20 batteries via the local council and am going to recycle 20 more at the recycling centre I found online. I have donated 8 printer cartridges to be reused and raise money for charity and a Nokia mobile phone for charity.

My thoughts on this process so far? I don’t see why ALL computer shops and electrical goods shops don’t offer recycling of PC’s and electrical goods as part of the whole WEEE initiative. It would make life so much easier for the poor beleagured consumer: and if I didn’t have access to the Internet, I wouldn’t have a clue where to take most of this stuff. My own council has very good electronic waste disposal/recycling facilities but it is only accessible at the dump/recycling centre; it would be so much easier to do doorstep collection of these things, say once or twice a year?

And why are there no financial incentives for recycling these items? I know from living in San Francisco, where they pay a few cents for glass bottles to be recycled, that people will spend hours combing the streets in order to recycle these bottles. If there was a way of rewarding recyclers, you can bet a lot less PC’s, TV’s and so on would find themselves dumped in the street or in landfill.

Buying batteries that aren’t rechargeable is clearly daft, and I’m going to stop, because it’s landing me with a waste problem. I haven’t tried to recycle them at the recycling ‘point’ – in Robert Dyas in Canary Wharf, apparently – yet and will report back when I do – does it work? Will they accept them?

And recycling print cartridges, either by refilling and reusing them, or just sending back your once-used ones, is a no-brainer and can be very useful for charities. I’m going to get a collection box to help raise funds for the toddlers group I run and suggest doing it at my sons’ school too. And I’m going to add a banner for recycling phones and print cartridges to Mimimyne to encourage other people to do it and donate to charity at the same time!

Recycle Week: I’ve made my pledge!

It’s Recycle Week from June 22nd until June 28th this year in the UK, and Recycle Now are inviting us all to make a pledge to recycle more, or in a different way from before. I already do home composting in the garden and recycle food waste and paper, aluminium, cardboard and plastic, thanks to the excellent recycling service offered by Tower Hamlets Council. I try and donate other stuff to charity, put it on craigslist and (occasionally) sell on Ebay. However, I’ve decided to try and tackle one of the most pressing clutter problems in my household, which is electrical equipment, unwanted gadgets and (aagh) cables and batteries. Batteries sit around waiting to go to recycling, and rejoin new batteries in a jumbled pile. So I am going to sort out the unused gadgets, old computers, cables and batteries. My first step has been to buy a battery tester, a mere £3 from Amazon. I’ll blog later in the week about how I’ve disposed of other things! And if I don’t carry out my pledge, I give up Facebook and Twitter for a whole week: which is a terrifying prospect…

Recycle Week